Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

December 14, 1962 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1962-12-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Purely Commentary

Tributes to Simons,
Sobeloff . . . Israel's
Naturalization Issue

By Philip


Call for Greater
Jewish Action in
Negroes' Defense

It merely inflames their fanaticism. So I doubt the wisdom
Of advertising the author of this latest frenzy."
Isidore Sobeloff has rightfully earned the tine of Chief
Mark Twain was noted for his epigrams. This writer was the
(Copyright, 1962,
Architect of our major community structures. Sinai Hospital, first to publish the inscriptions by the humorist to his daughter
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
the Home for the Aged, several Hebrew Schools and the head- in the set of his works he presented to her in 1904. After the
quarters of the Jewish Welfare Federation, the Butzel Building, appearance of this writer's article in Real America's November Some Jews are "derelict" in
became realities under his direction, during the 25 years of his 1935 issue, other writers quoted them and they were featured implementing the civil rights
services with the Federation.
in other national magazines. The text of the Real America article, ideals, a f f e c tin g Negroes,
More vital than his mortar-and-brick record, however, are which appeared under the headings "Mark Twain's Unpublished espoused by national Jewish re-
the accomplishments that have been recorded during his direc- Epigrams—Gathered from inscriptions in the Humorist's Works ligious organizations, according
torial era in the fields of education, social service, health and Presented to His Daughter, Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch," is as to the chief administrator of
the United States Commission
recreation. Our community has risen in stature in the past
quarter-century, in all aspects of our activities, due primarily
Civil Rights.
Hitherto Unpublished Epigrams By Mark Twain, the cen• on Berl
L. Bernhard, staff direc-
to the leadership qualities of Mr. Sobeloff and his ability to
tenary of whose birth is now being observed, perhaps best reveal tor of the Commission, made
surround himself with able staffs and dedicated laymen who
the great humorist as a practical man and a person of great this charge here before a lead-
devoted themselves tirelessly to the various movements that make
vision. I refer to the author's inscriptions in his own books ership conference of the Union
up our community.
which he presented to his daughter on November 27, 1904. It
It is no wonder that the entire American Jewish community was during a visit to Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch to interview of American Hebrew Congrega-
looks to Detroit and to its able Federation and Allied Jewish her regarding certain attitudes of her father on racial and re- tions.
Bernhard touched the Ach-
Campaign director for guidance. Isidore Sobeloff's genius in ligious questions that I glanced through these inscriptions in the
community direction as well as in fund-raising has made him the Hillcrest Edition of Mark Twain's works, and, with Airs. illes heel of a vexatious prob-
Dean of the American Jewish Social Workers. As such, and as Gabrilowitsch's permission, I am enabled now to disclose these lem that troubled rabbis arit -?,
Jewish lay leaders. Negroes are: -: —
the inspirer of many of our communal projects, we honor him
autographs to the readers of Real America.
voicing more frequent charges
on the 25th anniversary of his services in Detroit.
The inscriptions reveal the love of a father, the wide ex- that while Jewish groups and
periences of a very observant genius, the concern of a student spokesmen support Negro equal-
The 'Catholic of Jewish Nationality' Issue
of life over the practical things in the everyday activities of a ity, Jewish landlords • and mer-
It is because Brother Daniel sought admission to citizenship human being. In her interview, Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch chants discriminate in rental
in Israel as a Jew, not because he had chosen to become and took occasion to speak with devoted esteem of her father's and employment policies.
Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch, di-
remain a Catholic, that he was denied the right of admission hatred for all types of injustice and of the manner in which
to the nationhood of Israel. There will no doubt be endless he abhorred persecution. And when I read the inscriptions in rector of the new U.A.H.C.
Washington office, stated that
debates over the question of whether a person who chooses to her books I realized he never forgot his sense of humor.
call himself a Jew will be recognized as such even though he
The first volume of The Innocents Abroad is inscribed: "To "all too many religious or-
adopts another faith. But it is a basic principle in Jewish reason- Clara Langdon Clemens, with the love of her father, the author," ganizations— our's included—
ing that anyone who abandons his Jewish faith automatically and appended to it is the statement: "Be good and you will smear the soothing balm of
also ceases to be a Jew.
be lonesome. Like me." In the second volume of The Innocents beautifully constructed resolu-
How else can the issue be judged? What hope is there for Abroad comes a striking commentary on the need for adherence tions on their itchy consciences.
Jewry, and therefore also for the state of Israel, as well as the to the practical even by the most principled. Wrote Mark Twain They talk at national conven-
tions, then go home to the
People Israel, without our faith, devoid of the spirituality which therein: "Prosperity is the best protector of principle."
same society they have been
gave us the heritage we cherish?
That his sense of the practical continued to dominate is criticizing, without attempting
Israel's Law of Return applies to Jews—and the application indicated by his inscriptions in the third and fourth volumes, to implement social values."
now is definitely interpreted as applying only to full-fledged constituting A Tramp Abroad, on the title pages of which Mark
Bernhard's main point was
Jews. Other elements in Israeli citizenship relating to those of Twain wrote: "To succeed in the other trades, capacity must be that "the Jews had every right
other faiths are in no sense linked to the Law of Return and to shown; in the law, concealment of it will do.
to condemn those who stood
the principle of Ingathering.
By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another idly by while the Nazis hound-
An old dictum—Israel of al pi shehatah Israel hu"—"a Jew,
ed, mistreated, tortured, and
even if he has sinned, remains a Jew"—is being applied by some man's, I mean.
"Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man's, I mean." finally killed millions of Jews.
to Brother Daniel's claim and application. But Brother Daniel His inscription in the second part of Following the Equator Therefore, there can be no ex-
does not affirm having sinned. On the contrary, he claims loyalty reads: "Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care cuse for .Jewish indifference
to a new faith, and therefore emphasizes his abandonment of his
towards the Negro."
heritage. Therefore, under the secular Israeli regulations, which not who makes its laws, or its songs either."
The U.S. official felt that
"today, the Negroes have an
1so be interpreted at all times as continuing
n of spirituality
as long as the tradition of a heritage is applied, lowing the Equator: "It is nobler to show another how to be equal right to condemn those
good yourself, and less trouble."
among the Jews and among
the Israel Supreme Court's ruing against
. . the convert to Cathoif good than to be
In Roughing It, Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, and, through her kind- other religious denominations
cism must be accepted as a basic principle. We. assume
he seeks citizenship in Israel as a resident Catholic, he will not ness, now the readers of Real America, perceive that Mark who close their eyes to the
Twain, with all his practicability. knew the ultimate worthlessness racial cruelty and injustice- of
be denied that right.
of worldly goods: "Each person is born to one possession which the society in which they live."
He said he was fully aware
out-values am' he can earn or inherit—his last breath."
Leonard N. Simons' Leadership Qualities
he thus of pressures facing Jews in the
Our community soon will be blessed with a building that
Southern states, but "if it
will supplement the existing Home for the Aged and will provide inscribed Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc: "Satan tto new- stems from fear for personal
facilities for another 150 aged
you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the safety or material well-being,
The completion of the successful fund-raising effort for that
it is 'ignoble. It is also myopic,
for those who harbor racial
projected structure is due in largest measure to the organiza- most numerous."
Lawyers will appreciate his comment in Sketches New and hatreds may unexpectedly and
tional genius of Leonard N. Simons.
Old: "In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. without reason, lash out against
To the credit of this able leader, who earns his livelihood
the Jew or other minority mem-
as an advertising executive, already are recorded many projects— Then he made juries."
And dreamers will find justification for their visions in Mark bers." He felt it would make
in behalf of the Jewish Publication Society of America, the Hillel
Foundations, Temple Beth El and its religious schools and many Twain's inscription to American Claimant and Other Stories: little difference to the bigots
more causes. Now he has added to his glories—many of them "Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may that Jews shirk the civil rights
still exist, but you have ceased to live."
unsung—this latest achievement.
Bernhard, therefore, main-
There is something remarkable about Leonard Simons. To-
tained "it is imperative that
gether with his partner in the advertising agency,
the American Jew, as an indi-
Michelson, there have been recorded many generosities. But the truth." Evidently Mark Twain had been touched for many a loan, vidual and through the syna-
hard work both of them have put in to make Detroit's one judging by another inscription in Roughing It: "There is an' old- gogue and its programs of
e outstanding Jewish communities may neyer be fully ac- time toast which is golden for its beauty: 'When you ascend the social action, think and act for
hill of h prosperity may you never meet a friend . And per aps others (Negroes) in the field of
counted for.
an excellent sequel to this is his statement in The Gilded Age:
The opportunity presents itself, with the successful drive "It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt civil rights."
for the proposed new Home for the Aged building, to pay honor you to the heart: The one to slander you and the other to hurry
to a very able man. Let Leonard Simons' record for excellent
Soviet Government
service be known. He has earned our people's gratitude . for all the news to you."
The creator of Tom Sawyer, inscribing his daughter's volume Publishes Translation
his exertions and strivings for a good life for many people.
of Adventures of Tom Sawyer, finds beauty even in wrinkles of Anti-Semitic Book
when he writes: "Wrinkles should merely indicate where the
PARIS, (JTA)—The Political
Mark Twain and the Jews .. Epigrams . . Libels Demolished smiles have been."
Department of the Soviet Minis-
Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch Samossoud's recent death con-
Very appropriate is the inscription in The Prince and the try of Culture has published a
tinues to inspire recollections about her, her first husband and Pauper: "A simple rule for saving money when you are red-hot translation of a 19th century
to contribute to a charity: To save half, wait and count 40. To work denouncing the Jewish
her father.
religion and asserting that the
The famous essay by Mark Twain, written for Harper's save three-quarters, count 60. To save it all, count 65."
spirit of God "inspires blood-
Magazine in 1898, and republished as a pamphlet under the title
Mark Twain believed that good things should be shared with
"Concerning the Jews," established her father's friendship for others, as is noted on the title page of A Connecticut Yankee: thirsty warriors, inflames rebels
the Jews. But in 1939 the notorious anti-Semite, Robert Edward "Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy, and traitors and looks favor-
ably on treason."
Edmondson, saw fit to distort Mark Twain's views by issuing a you must have somebody to divide it with."
The book, a translation of a
leaflet which was widely distributed by his group by ascribing
Among the other inscriptions in Mrs. Gabrilowitsch's
work by Paul Henry Golbach,
to the great
from her father are the following:
a rabid German atheist who
ing on the pamphlet read: "Cornering Human Liberty! 'Jew
" 'Hunger is the handmaid of genius.' Or the barmaid, or lived in Paris in the 19th cen-
Persecution' A • Business Passion — •Mark Twain. Devastating
the housemaid, or the lady's maid. I don't know for sure which tury, declares further that: "The
Suppressed Analysis by Famous American Humorist - Author
children of Israel have always
Shows The Jewish Problem Is Not Religious, But ECONOMIC, it is, but it is one of those, anyway."
"The old saw says; 'Let a sleeping dog lie.' Experience knows been fed on these ideas. Hence
Antedating Christiana
better; experience says, if you want to convince, do it yourself." it is . not surprising that they
Clara, interviewed by this writer, was outraged by this mani-
"If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always are cruel, treacherous, rebel-
festation of hatred during the period of the Nazi persecutions. together, who would escape the gallows?"
lious, fanatical, untruthful. Such
This writer was then in contact with the eminent American
qualities have survived in them
"Everyone is a moon and has
historian, Prof. Charles Beard, who felt that Edmondson the anti-
because of the teachings of
Semite should not be given ya platform eventhrough - a - repudia-
"Irreverence is another man's disrespect for your God. There Moses and those other godly
tion of his outrageous misquotation from Mark Twain, and he isn't any word that tells us what your disrespect for his God is." saints."
The new Soviet translation,
wrote to us in relation to the forgery perpetrated - upon the great
But perhaps the most striking of all the inscriptions is the
the title, "A Gallery of
one contained in the last volume, The $30,000 Bequest, and out
"By bitter exnerience I have found out that nothing has
gotten a great thrill because of Saints," and published in
any good effect on the Nazis. They are brazen and black- the personal allusion to inheritance. Inscribing The $30,000 175,000 copies, also contains a
fierce attack on Christianity.
hearted • liars, and my feeling is that it only makes them Bequest Mark Twain informed his daufilter: ."Not Any."
worse to prove that they are liars. They flourish on criticism.

Isidore Sobeloff—Dean of Social Workers

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan